10 ways to use sticky notes to support literacy at home

I use a lot of sticky-notes in the classroom! I use them for assessments, I use them for Reading Groups, and I use them during Writer’s Workshops. It’s no surprise that I’ve found ways to incorporate them at home when working with Kai and Kei. I use them so much that I keep a stash of sticky notes of different sizes and colours in each of the boy’s room. Sticky notes are a great tool in making thinking visible, helping to document and annotate, and can be used to support reading and writing.

Below are 10 ways I have used sticky notes at home to support literacy:

1. Using sticky notes to add words on the Word Wall

A word wall is a dedicated space to display words that children are learning to read and write. It should be interactive with words that are built over a period of time. In Kai’s room, I have a mini-word wall on his door that mainly helps with his writing (rather than reading). When Kai writes, I note the words he struggles to spell, write those words on sticky notes and post them on his Word Wall. As he learns to spell these words, I remove them and leave room for new ones. Sticky notes is an easy solution to a Word Wall that changes frequently.

2. Using sticky notes to document learning on the “WONDER WALL”

As some of you may already know, I set up a Wonder Wall to record Kai’s questions before we dive deeper into topics that he explores. A Wonder Wall is a great way to keep ideas and questions visible throughout an inquiry. As we read books, watch videos, discuss and learn, Kai writes down facts/learning on sticky notes and post them under each question. This is what it looks like when all his own questions are answered!

3. Using sticky notes for sequencing activities

When we learned about the butterfly lifecycle a few months ago, Kai drew each stage of the lifecycle on sticky notes. Using sticky note helps as I can mix up the stages, and have Kai arrange them in order to sequence the stages of a butterfly’s life cycle. Afterwards, I also taught transitional words, “first, next, then, finally” and had Kai place the sticky notes next to each description.

4. Using sticky notes to encourage story writing

Kai loves to draw and often has fascinating stories to tell about his illustrations. To encourage him to write, I started giving him sticky notes so he could “casually” document his stories without the formality of a workbook or a journal book. When he is finished, we stick the post-it note on the back so he can re-read it or share it with the rest of the family.

5. Using sticky notes to encourage story telling

I do a lot of storyscribing with Kei, my 4-year old, who also loves to draw. Storyscribing is an effective way to include young children in the writing process well before they can write. Children’s oral language is much more advanced than their writing skills, and so storyscribing allows them to share their ideas without being pressured to write. I storyscribe for both my kids so I could understand the stories behind their pictures. Since Kei’s pictures often take up a lot of space, I began storyscribing on sticky-notes instead of directly on the page.

6. Using sticky notes to document progress on Chinese characters

I used to keep track of the characters that Kei learned by sticking them all on his wall. However, as his vocabulary increases, I eventually ran out of wall space. So instead of documenting the characters he already knows, I started posting only the ones Kei is unfamiliar with, and needs more practice. I take a few sticky notes from the wall at a time and practice with him. As he learns the characters, I remove those sticky notes and add new ones.

7. Using sticky notes to show Word Family “chunk”

I wrote extensively about Word Family activities here, and this is one way that I help Kei recognize word family chunks. Using sticky notes helps Kei see that by switching the initial letter (the onset), the words change, but the word family chunk (rime) remains.

8. Using sticky notes for Fill-in-The-Blanks

I taught Kai prepositions of place during Easter after planning a Treasure Hunt on paper. I wrote the sentences and had Kai fill in the blanks using sticky notes.

9. Using sticky notes as bookmarks to mark chapters

Finally, I started using the rainbow-coloured sticky notes to mark the chapters in 四五快读 so I can easily turn to those lessons. A child could also use sticky notes to mark the page of their book to form good reading habits (instead of folding the page).

10. Using sticky notes to make notes/reminders on books

When I read the Oxford series with Kai and Kei, I note the words they have trouble sounding out, and write them on sticky notes. This way, I can review the words individually with them, without having to read the entire book again.

There are so many other ways that I’ve used sticky notes in the classroom, but I will save that for another post!

Do you use sticky notes at home too? What are other ways you have used them?

Do check out my other posts on WRITING

Published by Ms Claudia Lee Kimura

Apple Distinguished Educator, Class of 2015 Primary school teacher, technology coordinator Not just a regular mom, but a teacher-mom Mom of 2 boys, stepmom of 3 boys

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